Newent’s cafés help rescue pumpkin waste
Cafés in Newent will be quite literally squashing the amount of food going in the bin next week as they bid to rescue more pumpkin waste during the town’s autumn celebrations (Monday 23 – Friday 27 October).
Each year it is estimated that eighteen thousand tonnes of perfectly edible pumpkin is thrown away in the UK. To highlight the problem, a number of Newent’s eateries will be cooking up a range of delicious treats and savoury snacks using leftovers of the seasonal veg as they take part in the town’s very first Pumpkin Rescue event.
Councillor Julia Gooch, Cabinet Member for Town Centres, Business Support and Jobs at the Forest of Dean District Council, and owner of Gooch Sports in the town said: ‘This is the fifth time Newent has held its very own autumn-themed half-term event and this year we have been keen to address the amount of waste produced, particularly when it comes to food and in particular pumpkins. This has motivated us to run our very own Pumpkin Rescue.’
‘Our local restaurants, cafés and food outlets are supporting the ‘rescue’ by using the flesh and seeds of the pumpkins - which are often discarded when a pumpkin is carved - to turn them into something tasty to eat. We hope the event will raise awareness of food waste and inspire the public to have a go at getting more creative with leftover food in their own kitchens too.’
A prize will be awarded to the eatery cooking the menu most enjoyed by patrons.
All Seasons Deli and Café, The Buttery Tea Rooms, The Crusty Loaf, The Good News Centre, Erol’s Court Yard Café and Tudor Fish and Chip Shop have already signed up to take part.
Councillor Chris McFarling, Cabinet Member for the Environment at the District Council added: ‘Since the first Rescue event, held in Oxford in 2014 by environmental charity Hubbub, over seventeen thousand pumpkins have been saved from landfill. Last year the council collected almost three thousand tonnes of food waste from homes for recycling. While this is good news, it would be far better for the environment if food waste was prevented in the first place. This is why the Pumpkin Rescue is such a great initiative.’
In addition to the Pumpkin Rescue, residents and visitors to the town will be able to take part in other fun-filled family activities including a scarecrow trail treasure hunt - now a regular feature in the town in the run up to Bonfire Night - and lantern carving.
The festivities will culminate with a display of lanterns at Freedom Leisure’s Explorer Event to be held at Newent Lake on Friday 27 October.
Anyone wanting more information should contact Gooch Sports.
Find out more about Pumpkin Rescue events at: #PumpkinRescue or visit www.hubbub.org.uk
The Joint Waste Partnership provides waste and recycling services on behalf of Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold District Council, Forest of Dean District Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council.
The Newent scarecrow trail and Pumpkin Lantern is supported by Newent Initiative Trust and Smiths Estate agents and sponsored by Freedom Leisure and Two Rivers Housing.
The first Pumpkin Rescue was launched in 2014 in Oxford by the charity, Hubbub. For Halloween 2015, Pumpkin Rescue was taken on by 25 UK towns and even crossed oceans to the USA. 2016 saw over 40 community festivals across the UK and Asia, supporting 126 events.
So far, the Pumpkin Rescue campaign has delivered 199 local events and workshops have been attended by 12,200 people. This has led to a whopping 17,000 pumpkins bring diverted from landfill.